tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 20, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
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>> i looked at him, said no it's not presidential. >> he is a president unlike any other. >> they say that's exactly right, if it was presidential, then i wouldn't be president. >> he's willing to bully. >> wait a minute, i'm not finished. i'm not finished, fake news. >> basically said if i didn't support the bill i was going to destroy the republican party. >> you personally? >> yeah. >> you weren't there but you're going to be. >> cruelly insult. >> they call her pocahontas. >> evoke the most horrific of >> they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> some of his governing choices puzzle even republicans. >> what's going on at the state department? >> not enough. >> his tweets drive opponents crazy. helping to drive down his approval ratings. but his supporters love it. >> they wanted the president to send a message, break some
china. >> and he's been doing that. >> this man reigns and manages with chaos. >> fired! >> it's a new norm. >> trump's first year. reign of chaos. >> i, donald john trump, do solemnly swear -- >> thinking, this has to be a dream. it was an amazing moment. >> i will faithfully execute -- >> when that hand goes on the bible -- the government changes the global views change, the nuclear codes change. >> so help me, god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> when donald j. pump was sworn in as 45th president of the united states, nearly everything americans had come to expect of the presidency changed. shunned by political leaders from both parties, trump sought
to disrupt the way things were traditionally done. >> we will follow two simple rules. buy american, and hire american. >> it was the businessman who thrived on disorder. >> this man reigns and manages by chaos. >> a man with no particular allegiance to anyone but himself and his supporters. >> we will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action. >> donald trump promised disruption. it's why many supporters voted for him and why many of his opponents dreaded his presidency. neither group had to wait long. the type of president donald trump would be became very clear before his inaugural week was even over. and the first clues came right here. >> mothers and children trapped
in poverty, rusted-out factories, scattered like tombstones. this american carnage stops right here and stops right now. >> even if his inauguration address, traditionally upbeat and unifying, president trump kept the tone of candidate trump. >> the american carnage speech. i thought, darn. what a wasted opportunity. >> republican senator jeff flake, a trump critic, was watching. >> that would have been a great time to pivot. to give the hopeful, optimistic, this is who we are. instead of talking about our fears. >> you have to look at the entire speech. >> kellyanne conway is now counselor to the president. >> when he makes a promise, he's making that promise to all americans. even those who will criticize him and attack him and try to deny his presidency for an entire year. >> the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten
no longer. >> he really wanted that particular address to be dedicated to the forgotten man and forgotten woman. he thinks they have lacked voice and visibility, that they're always outside the system looking in. >> god bless you and god bless america. >> after the inaugural parade, a signing ceremony signaled this president would keep his promises. >> next is an executive order -- >> it was an executive order telling government agencies to begin to prepare for the dismantling of president obama's signature legislation, the affordable care act. or obamacare. >> he went right from the start to rip at the affordable care act. on this idea of repeal and replace. when there wasn't even a plan to replace it with. >> he campaigned on obama being terrible. the republican party base is of the opinion that everything
obama did is wrong. and so he was playing to this crowd. the thing this president has been singularly obsessed with is losing his base. >> out of the gate, before the inaugural balls had even started, there was that nod to the base. it would become a theme. and there would be more nods that week. >> the transpacific partnership -- >> he put the nail in the coffin on a trade deal he said was bad for american workers. >> great thing for the american worker. >> he approved two oil pipelines previously delayed because of environmental concerns. >> keystone pipeline. >> he promised to build a wall along the southern border. he also continued his attacks on the press, even when standing in front of the memorial wall at the cia. >> i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. >> those attacks on the fourth estate would become another theme. >> i get up this morning, i turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field.
i said, wait a minute. i made a speech. i looked out. the field was -- it looked like a million, million and a half people. they showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. >> up untrue, period. president trump's inauguration is on the right. president obama's 2009 ceremony on the left. obama's crowds are clearly bigger. >> sean spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. >> we have to have shared facts that we operate on. that's i think fundamental to any democracy. >> today conway says that phrase was a mistake. >> your job is not to call things ridiculous. i talked for 36 minutes to three sunday anchors. they took two words, alternative facts, when what i meant to say
was alternative information and additional facts. a little lesson, the president does enjoy this. alternative facts is partly cloudy, partly sunny. 2 plus 2 equals 4, 3 plus 1 equals 4. those are alternative facts. >> a fact, seven days after being sworn in, 13 months after calling for a total and complete shutdown on muslims entering the united states, the president signed this. >> big stuff. i'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical islamic terrorists out of the united states of america. >> it was an executive order that turned around residents from seven muslim majority countries. >> it was not vetted carefully. it really set the tone for the president's first days in office. it was very in your face. it infuriated democrats. it alarmed republicans. >> i tried to explain to them -- >> republicans such as congressman charlie dent from pennsylvania. >> it really caused me a lot of heartburn. >> why? >> i got a text message from my
son, joey called, hit family's at the philadelphia airport, they're not letting them in the country. >> at the philadelphia airport and airports across the country, chaos. >> their visas revoked while they were in midair. it took ten days to get the family back in, and we did get them in. >> by then a tone had been set. the u.s. president refusing to be constrained by traditional presidential protocol. >> why are we not having a press conference today? >> this delighted millions of his supporters who wanted him to disrupt. >> we just had a press conference. >> while millions of other americans were horrified. >> i like real news, not fake news. you're fake news. >> the media's fake. >> the president insisted on attacking facts as fiction. >> all i can say is it's totally fake news. just fake. >> and he was unafraid to say untrue things.
>> obamacare covers very few people. it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. >> and tweet bogus information. this one from his first week alleged at least 3 million votes were illegal. there is zero proof of that. this one in march accused the former president, obama, of a felony. just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower, he typed. the intelligence community has said that's untrue. >> i have no information that supports those tweets. >> he name-called. many people found his tweets sometimes sexist. such as this one from june attacking msnbc anchor mika vertebbrzezinsk brzezinski. "sheaves bleeding badly from a facelift." this one from september that made it look as though he knocked over his former opponent hillary clinton. he also spread false and give vicive information. in november he retweeted this video from a far-right group,
britain first, it's supposed to be a dutch teen being beaten about 8 muslim migrant. but it's not. and these tweets caused tension with america's closest ally, britain. >> i'm very clear that retweeting from britain first was the wrong thing to do. >> there is a problem with impulse control. i mean, i think we all know that. >> at the end of his first year in office, following a very public discussion of his mental stability, the president tweeted, "throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being like really smart. i went from very successful businessman to top tv star to president of the united states on my first try. i think that would qualify as not smart but genius. and a very stable genius at that." for the president's friend anthony scaramucci, tweets such as that don't say anything about the president's impulse control, they say a lot about washington.
>> everyone here in washington, they light a match, set their hair on fire when he tweets out something like that. but guys that really know him, we see a tweet like that we laugh out loud, we know exactly the point he's trying to make. we also know he's trying to stir everybody up. >> the president's supporters may laugh at his social media, but they also say this presidency is about more than his tweets. pointing to a new supreme court justice. >> so help me, god. >> military victories against isis. and a record high stock market. >> so many important facts are never covered. why not cover more? >> there are, of course, accomplishments. and we'll look at them ahead. but there's also this. >> you will not replace us! >> how hard is it to condemn nazis or the kkk?
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donald trump came to washington with three big goals for congress in his first year as president. to repeal and replace obamacare. >> obamacare is a disaster. >> to overhaul the tax code. >> we want lower taxes, bigger paychecks -- >> to overall u.s. infrastructure. >> we're going to get infrastructure built quickly. >> to do all that, he needed help from congress. and a priority list. >> one thing that was important to him was tax reform. he didn't push that one first. he went with what he was urged to do by his chief of staff, reince priebus, and others in the white house, health care reform. >> health care. repeal and replace obamacare. a long-held priority for republicans who pointed to the americans who have felt burdened by the imperfect program. >> the real people have come to that white house and told us
their story. they had jobs, wages, benefits. they've lost or had them slimmed down. >> we are cattle ranchers. we can't afford our equipment if we're paying these rates year after year after year. >> we were on it for five months. a pediatrician for our children wouldn't take it. >> the problem with repealing obamacare is that traditionally, once a government program has been implemented, it's almost impossible to take it away. >> health care is a human right! >> which meant even some republicans were going to have a hard time buying into repeal and replace. >> i had two meetings with the president on health care. basically told him three times that i couldn't support the bill. >> what did he say? >> basically he said if i didn't support the bill i was going to destroy the republican party, he was going to blame me. >> you personally? >> yeah. he said he was going to take down tax reform. i questioned him, are you saying if we don't pass health care we won't be able to pass tax
reform? he said, access exactly right, when you lose, you lose. >> in march 2017, when the house of representatives first planned to vote to repeal and replace obamacare, the republican party had too many charlie departments. >> we did not have the votes to replace this law. >> during the next effort to repeal and replace in may, there was a bill the congressional budget office said would cause 14 million americans to lose their medicaid coverage. because obamacare expanded medica medicaid. >> the president and vice president of the united states. >> it passed the house. >> this is a real plan. this is a great plan. >> but it hit a snag in the senate. president trump tried to muscle the bill through. with some trademark arm-twisting such as this public teasing of nevada senator dean heller. >> this was the one we were worried about. you weren't there but you're going to be, you're going to be. look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he?
>> as well as his typical twitter taunts. >> so important republican senators under leadership of senate majority leader mcconnell get health care plan approved. after seven years of o-care disaster, must happen. >> it didn't. >> the amendment is not agreed to. >> two days later, with an altered bill on the table, it failed. the final blow delivered with this dramatic thumbs-down from republican senator john mccain. the repeal and replace of obamacare that president trump promised would happen on day one was dead for the year. his supporters blamed congress. >> it seemed to me that the congress failed the president on that one in terms of not having the package ready to go. and yet they expected him to kind of push it and use the bully pulpit to get it delivered. >> so the president, who doesn't like to lose, tried to make a win.
>> congratulations to everybody. >> signing an executive order cutting funds paid directly to insurance companies to help stabilize the markets. and making it easier for people to buy outside the obamacare exchanges. >> obamacare is virtually dead. at best you could say it's in its final legs. >> hardly true. around 8.8 million americans signed up for 2018 coverage. about 400,000 fewer than the year before. another domestic issue the president put in his crosshairs, illegal immigration. the president had promised his base a crackdown, and he has delivered. i.c.e. arrests are up 43% since 2016. >> can you say power? immigrants! power?
immigrants! >> the president has struggled with daca, deferred action for childhood arrivals, the program that allowed some 800,000 so-called d.r.e.a.m.ers, brought here illegally as children, to work and study without fear of arrest. >> immigrants are welcome here! >> we're going to deal with daca with heart. >> the president was seemingly torn between his heart and his base. in september, the base won. >> it was unlawful and contrary to the laws passed by this institution. >> mr. trump's attorney general announced daca would die in march. unless congress could find a compromise. a few days later -- >> we're working on a plan for daca. the wall will come later. >> that is no longer his position. >> i really believe they're going to come up with a solution to the daca problem. but any solution has to include the wall.
>> negotiations to save the program were under way in january in the oval office when president trump made what's being called racial slurs. >> when we started to describe the immigration from africa, that's when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from shitholes. >> president trump disparaged haitian immigrants as well. >> he said haitians, do we need more haitians? >> were the comments racist, do you think? >> um, well -- i think they were -- yes. i think that they were unfortunate. we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. >> i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you of ever introduce interviewed. >> the president and two republican senators in the room deny the accusations. but it was hardly the first time in president trump's first year when he'd been accused of racism.
>> anti-white, anti-white! jews will not replace it! >> in august the white supremacist march in charlottesville, virginia, where a peaceful protester was run over and killed, allegedly by one of the white supremacists. >> [ bleep ], [ bleep ]. >> before protester heather hire had been killed, violence had broken out and it was ugly. >> yo, get the [ bleep ]! >> stunningly, president trump condemned both sides. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides. on many sides. >> you will not replace us! >> the president's failure to single out nazis, skinheads, and oops klanshelp for specific condemnation shocked the world, including republicans. >> how hard is it to condemn nazis? or the kkk?
>> so two days later, a change. >> racism is evil. and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. including the kkk, neo-nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups. >> but then the next day, another step backwards. >> but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides, you had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me -- i saw the same pictures as you did -- >> don't blame both sides. they came to this city to spread their hate. >> the thought that if you cannot come down hard on them because you might alienate some in the base -- i think you've got to get a new base. >> do you think that's what was motivating him? >> i think that there was an element of that here. didn't want to offend some people that he had i think given quarter to, at least. >> he's the most nonracist person i've ever known. and anybody who's been with him
over time can tell you that. >> usa, usa! >> soon after charlottesville came huntsville, alabama. where president trump denounced football players, most of them african-american, who had taken a knee during the national anthem at nfl games, to protest police brutality. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, get that son of a bitch off the field right now. out, he's fired. he's fired! >> this has nothing to do with race. i'd never said anything about race. >> the president's tweets and comments have nothing to do with the flag, everything to do with race. when the president refers to colin kaepernick in alabama as a son of the b-word, it is racial code for the "n" word across america and in alabama. >> i would not even attempt to
explain what he's thinking or why he does it. but if you take a sport that's making billions off american viewership saying it's the heart of america, should there be some base standard? i don't have the answer, but i think the fact that your viewers are thinking about it is a good thing. coming up -- a victory on capitol hill squeezed in just under the wire. and later -- >> i told steve kolber i thought i would last longer than a carton of milk. a monday. always late. oh! my wallet! un momento. card lock from capital one. instantly lock your card. in case your card goes... arrivederci. mona! that smile. technology this convenient... could make history.
to protect against flare-ups caused by the sun. herpecin l. if you've read president trump's twitter feed, you know that he thinks the mainstream media -- that's us -- won't discuss the successes of his first year. quote, sadly the fake mainstream media will never talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews, he writes. well, that wasn't true then, and it's not true now. here we go, mr. president. by fall, with any major legislative victory having proved elusive, the president turned his attention to tax cuts. determined to get a deal by the end of 2017. >> i can think of no better christmas present for the american people than giving you a massive tax cut. that's what's happening.
>> i just got the tax bill 25 minutes ago. this is the tax bill. see how thick it is? >> democrats balked claiming republicans were rushing through a half-baked bill to meet the president's artificial deadline. >> can you tell me what that word is? >> there's been a lot of criticism about last-minute additions and handwritten notes in the margins -- >> this bill was, you know, let's add in a special provision here or there. there's a reason that tax policy is hard. because it takes transparency. the last time it was done in a meaningful way, ronald reagan and a democratic congress took months, with months of hearings and lots of exposure of all the wa warts. none of that has happened here. >> but democrats could not stop the trump train. the first major tax overhaul in more than 30 years -- >> without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the
table. >> passed the house. >> the tax cuts -- >> and senate. >> -- act is passed -- >> in late december. >> mitch, how about you start it. >> republicans were efuse 97 their praise of the president. >> it's been a year of extraordinary accomplishment for the trump administration. >> something this profound could not have been done without exquisite presidential leadership. >> you're one heck of a leader. >> the bill cuts taxes for the middle class, but those tax cuts are set to expire in 2025. the corporate tax rate has been slashed from 35% to 21%. and that's permanent. and a priority for the president, who insimmsed that cut will grow the economy. >> ultimately, what does it mean? it means jobs. jobs, jobs, jobs. >> maybe. as of now, the tax cut is unpopular. largely perceived as disproportionately favoring the wealthy. >> what we got is a tax
give-away at rates that frankly none of my former business colleagues actually ever believed were necessary. you may see a short-term sugar high, but i believe this policy has been done so quickly, behind so many closed doors, that it will take a decade for us to unravel some of these policies. >> among the policies inside the bill, a measure that kills the individual mandate in obamacare. that's the fine on those uninsured, designed to keep everyone enrolled and rates therefore lower. >> we have essentially repealed obamacare. >> no. you haven't. but you have wounded it, again. >> this is something i'm very proud of. great for our country. great for the american people. thank you all. >> the president who likes to boast he keeps his promises signed the bill three days before christmas. and his senior counselor kellyanne conway insists the american people will grow to
love it. >> as time went on, more americans had questions about obamacare, had questions about the individual mandate, wondered why the premiums were increasing, why are my choices fewer, why are my prices higher? the opposite i predict will happen with the tax cut. the more people learn of it, the better they'll like it. >> another success that the trump white house heralds from this past year -- >> we have decades of excess regulation to remove. >> the administration says it has scrapped hundreds of regulations. >> in 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages -- >> if you're one of his supporters, you consider this an accomplishment. >> when we're finished, we will be less than where we are in 1960. >> if you were to really ask business men or women today who are running companies -- >> one, two, three. >> i think they would tell you what they feel is the beginning of the unbundling of rules and
regulations that provided no benefit to general society, but severely restricted the ability of those companies to grow and go. >> the columnist joe clemens has a different view. he worked at the department of interior when trump took office. and noticed some early rollbacks implemented by the new secretary of the interior, ryan zinke. >> secretary zinke canceled a health study that was taking place at the national academy of sciences that was focused on the health effects of mountaintop coal removal in appalachia. >> mountaintop removal lobs the peaks off to get to the coal inside. researchers say the practice contaminates groundwaters with toxic minerals, resulting in higher lung carry rates and other illnesses. in august, the interior department said the decision was part of an agency-wide budget review. environmentalists have expressed alarm at several recent changes
and regulatory rollbacks that they say will jeopardize clean air and clean water. >> there are people out there in the environmental community and also the president's critics who are suspicious that they think that every time a regulation is rolled back, that is air quality or water quality made less safe. as opposed to an onerous regulation that will help create jobs. >> as you said, it's toe-mate-toe, toe-mah-toe. there has to be a ball left hand struck and i think this administration's moving that direction. >> the pro-business stance of this presidency is helping fuel the economy. >> total unemployment is now at a 17-year low. think about it. consumer confidence is at a 17-year high. think of that. >> all true. and on top of that, the stock
market hit more than 85 new highs between the election and the end of 2017. >> and by the way, how are your 401(k)s doing? not too bad, right? >> with the dow peaking at a record-breaking high. 24,838. it's a success for which he likes to take full credit. >> the stock market is at an all-time high. since a very, very special day, it's called election day, november 8th. >> though obviously it was not all him. >> it was doing well. i think we would have had a good year. but let's give him some credit, he was there, the economy's done well, the stock market's done well. >> another success -- >> the judge story is an untold story, nobody wants to talk about it -- >> president trump's talking about his nominations to the federal bench. if you're a supporter of his, they amount to an enormous accomplishment.
>> today i am keeping another promise to the american people. by nominating judge neil gorsuch. >> supreme court justice neil gorsuch is the best-known federal court nomination president trump made this past year. >> i, neil m. gorsuch, do solemnly swear -- >> but he's not the only one. dozens of nominations for scores of federal judgeships have been made. >> mr. president, thanks to your nominees, we've put 12 circuit court judges in place. the most since the circuit court system was established in 1891. >> it's a modern record for a first year with a major assist from the u.s. senate. and it's significant. because these are mainly conservative judges being placed on federal appeals courts. often the last stop for controversial rulings. >> these judges are going to
come down, one way or another, on a lot of hot-button social issues of date. it could be abortion. it could be various aspects of gay rights. it could be freedom of religion. >> these are lifetime appointments meaning these judging will be effecting laws 30 or 40 years into the future. if you're a trump supporter or a conservative, that's thrilling. if you're not, it's not. up next, palace intrigue trump style. >> you've got to start playing off the same sheet of music and they weren't doing that for the president. that was it for me. that's why i'm quitting with nicorette. only nicorette mini has a patented fast dissolving formula. it starts to relieve sudden cravings fast. every great why needs a great how.
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columnist joe clemens believes he's been burned by president trump's burning desire to roll back regulations. >> they want to get rid of experts and scientists. by muzzling the scientists and the experts you take out the number one voices that are trying to stand up for the good of the american people, not industry. we're in the way, essentially, of their agenda. >> when president trump entered office, clemens was director of the policy office at the interior department. a main focus was helping to save alaskan villages from melting into the sea. scientists blame climate change. >> they're on spits of land, they're essentially land bars, locked into place by permafrost. over millennia they stay there.
that's all changing now. >> in june the department of interior leadership changed his job. >> as many as 50 senior the associate deputy secretary m saying, you've been reassigned. >> clemens' new gig was in auditing. >> i had no auditing experience. to take the climate change guy and put him in the office that collects oil and gas and mining revenues was a very explicit signal that they wanted me to quit. >> the president's interior secretary, ryan zinke, wants to cut roughly 4,000 jobs from his department. in june he told lawmakers one way he planned to do it was through reassignments. >> reassignments don't trim the workforce, right? only if you get them to quit does it trim the workforce. >> you can't be moving talent around, the senior executive office around, in order to get rid of them. that would not be permit. >> by october clement did what he said the administration wants him to do, he quit.
the interior department is investigating but calls the allegations baseless. similar stories are coming from the state department where secretary of state rex tillerson has been working on plans to cut his budget by 30%. >> my redesign for the state department i think is the most important thing i can do for the state department. how do we become more effective, more capable, more nimble, to use the intellectual capacity of the people in this department. today that human talent carries a lot of bags and weight around with it that gets in the their way of being effective. >> and while he's been working on that, state department employees have been quitting and they haven't been replaced. our leadership ranks are being depleted at a dizzying speed, writes barbara stevenson, the president of the american foreign service association. she says the number of career ambassadors has dropped 60% this past year. what's going on there? >> not enough.
i have the africa subcommittee. i'm going to have a hearing on zimbabwe. and i can't get an administration witness. there's no under secretary for africa, for example. a lot of ambassador posts are vacant. there just has been, you know, a lot of neglect, frankly. >> i still don't have a clear answer as to why that's taking place. every person who's been involved in diplomacy the last decades views it as incredibly dangerous. >> of around 150 spots at the state department filled by presidential appointment, around half have been nominated. roughly one-third have been confirmed. president trump has brushed aside any concerns about the vacancies. when asked about them on fox news. >> let me tell you, the one that matters is me. i'm the only one that matters. because when it comes to it, that's what the policy is going to be. >> the president said he doesn't need some of these appointments filled because he's the one that makes a difference. but when you have 200-plus
countries out there that we have diplomats in, there is a tremendous need for skilled diplomacy. and experience. we need people there. >> one department was in better staffing shape than the rest. >> the health and human services, hhs, they were actually very -- on the scale of things, much faster in bringing in their full leadership team. but they lost their secretary. >> tom price quit in september after it was learned he liked to travel on private planes at taxpayer expense. price was just one of several high-profile departures from the trump administration led by a president who came to national prominence with this phrase. >> you're fired. >> among those leaving last summer, chief strategist steve bannon. and chief of staff reince priebus. >> i resigned and he accepted my resignation. >> priebus replaced by retired general john kelley, the former secretary of the department of homeland security. he was brought in to bring
stability and structure to a chaotic west wing. also leaving, press secretary sean spicer, who resigned immediately after the president hired anthony scaramucci as his communications director. >> i love the president and i'm very, very loyal to the president. >> scaramucci says he was brought on by mr. trump to quell the chaos caused by rival fiefdoms in the right wing. one fiefdom run by bannon, the second by probe us in, the third by president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, and his wife, the president's daughter, ivanka trump. >> there was a lot of infighting. i was pushing to get to ghe peo i thought were bad actors out of the white house. >> scare much che says the groups battled each other with leaks to the press. >> president trump on a war against leaks. >> leaks. >> leaks. >> scaramucci's goal, he says, to plug the holes. >> i was handling it more like a
business ceo, more like an entrepreneur, less like a surreptitious political operative. that was my mistake. >> he's referring to this piece in "the new yorker" published six days into his tenure after he called "the new yorker" demanding to know who was leaking to the magazine. he used expletives to describe prooeps and steve bannon, two men he believed were bad actors and responsible for many of the leaks. priebus was asked about scaramucci's leaker accusation on cnn in july. and declined to answer. >> i'm not going to respond to it, i'm not going to get into the mud. >> scaramucci's language got him fired after just ten days own. >> i was told by general kelley, maybe 9:30 in the morning on that monday, july 31st, that he needed to let me go. is. zuch says he left proud. >> when i look back at it, i
knocked two, possibly three bad players out of the white house. >> sean spicer and priebus, and maybe bannon? >> i deserve credit for him. i exposed the tremendous amount of leaking. i explained to the president how he was leaking, what journalists he was using to leak for somebody that was calling themselves a man of the people and a populist. and somebody that was deriding the swamp as aggressively as he was turned out to not even be a -- it was like a combination of a swamp creature and a ses pool operator. >> up next, the russia investigation. >> do you think president trump told general flynn to lie to the fbi about his contacts with the russians? mom and dad got a new car... with the extra third row of seats. they think it's theirs. look at them, they have no idea! it's not theirs. it's mine. mine. mine. mine.
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it is impossible to fully report on president trump's first year in office without discussing the russia investigation. it has been hovering over the white house like a dark cloud since inauguration day. >> the next president of the united states right here. >> just three weeks after entering office, retired general mike flynn, the president's national security adviser resigned. >> mike flynn is a fine person, and i asked for his resignation.
he respectfully gave it. >> the explanation? flynn lied to the vice president about his contacts with the russian ambassador. what the white house suspected at the time and the public was not told was that flynn also misled the fbi. and then in may, fbi director james comey who was leading an investigation into russia's mettling was fired by president trump. >> it just doesn't make any sense. this is an fbi director being fired in the middle of an investigation of the people who fired him. >> an act only done once before in american history. >> everything about it shocked me. that's not to say that i was surprised in the sense that i -- people have to start to realize there's no bottom with this president. >>. >> what was your response when you heard the fbi director had been fired? >> why. i thought that there is no good reason certainly for the timing.
you could make a case that he didn't handle the situation well during the campaign. >> with hillary clinton? >> with hillary clinton. you could make a strong case there, but the timing, and the explanations that were given and then the explanations that conflicted with the last explanation. >> the first official explanation? comey was fired for mishandling the hillary clinton e-mails investigation. which was laughable on its face since trump had stated many times that comey was not tough enough on hillary clinton. then the president offered this explanation. >> when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you kow, this russia thing with trump and russia is a madeup story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election. the russia story was made up. >> president trump has been denying and/or deflecting the russia collusion story as long as it's been public. >> i call it the russian hoax.
that's the thing that the democrats did best. they lost the election, and they didn't know what happened. and they needed an excuse, so they said russia. >> in february he tweeted it was nonsense, quote, merely an attempt to cover up the many mistakes made in hillary clinton's losing campaign. he called it a witch hunt on twitter. over and over and over again. president trump has also refused to unequivocally acknowledge russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. >> the wild thing is donald trump may be the only person in government who still rejects the fact that the russians massively intervened in our elections. every one of his appointments in terms of the intelligence community all accept this. >> i rise today concerned about
the threats. >> mark warner is a ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee which is also investigating russian interference in the u.s. election. james comey testified before the committee in june after he'd been fired. in written testimony provided to the committee, comey claimed that president trump told him at a dinner in january, quote, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. >> i was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so i found it important to document. >> so comey says, he began making memos about meetings with the president. that raises red flags for some trump supporters. >> all director comey had to say, you know, mr. president, this is a conversation you and i can't have because i'm the chief law enforcement officer and it's going to come to my desk, and i don't feel comfortable having that conversation. i guarantee the president would have said sorry. i didn't mean it that way. instead he went out to his car, wrote some notes down and went
back in again and again. >> after president trump tweeted that, quote, james comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press, the former fbi director said he then decided to leak to the press. >> i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with the reporter. i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. >> and it did. robert mueller was appointed to be special counsel in may after the content of comey's document was leaked. so far the mueller investigation has resulted in indictments against trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort and rick gates including conspiracy against the united states. and money laundering. those charges stem from lobbying and consulting work the two men did for a russia friendly political party in the ukraine. they have pleaded not. also a former trump campaign staffer named george
papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about contacts with russians. he's now cooperating with the special counsel. and mike flynn has also pleaded guilty to plying to the fbi. also about contacts with the russians and is also cooperating. despite all of that, as the end of 2017 neared, calls for the president to fire mueller got louder. >> we are at risk of a cue day tau in that country if we allow an unaccountable person with no oversight to undermine the dually elected to the of the united states. i join the gentleman from arizona in calling for mr. mueller's resignation or his firing. >> those making the requests insist mueller wants to bring down president trump. >> any attempt by the president to